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Helllllooooo Louisiana Fools!!

I see FiLA is pickin' up the pace. Hi, my name is Jess and I'm normally a regular poster to FiWI, (although I have neglected the board something terrible during this tour), and I am currently on a tour of the MF's Folly in 50 States. The tour has been summed up pretty well in a fribble by the ever lovable Hunzi: http://www.fool.com/Fribble/1999/Fribble990707.htm

I must say that Louisiana is one of the states on my short list of places to visit. Not just for the experience of Mardi Gras, but for the whole deal; besides, anyplace that has food that can make me break out in a sweat in the middle of a Wisconsin winter has got to be looked into. I almost ended up living in LA a few years back. I had an opportunity to try for a position at Petroleum Helicopters, Inc (PHEL), but I blew it. Now that is one of my few regrets that I hold. Ahh well, maybe next time.

I have noticed that nearly half of the postings to this board have occured in this month alone, with the main posters being Halbrook, RISKER, and shoffpau. At this rate folks you just may reach the top of the board heap someday (heh, heh). I love the topic about Louisiana stocks, one of the things that we do over in FiWI is that we are teaching ourselves how to look at stocks by evaluating WI companies. I looked up a list of publicly held companies based in LA, on MSN Investor (premium services soon to be free), and found 46 different companies listed (most of which have already been listed in posts #37 and 38 by shoffpau). If you all want the list let me know and I'll compile it and post it later.

Hmmm, I suppose I should let the other Foolish tourists out of the WInnabago so that they can say howdy themselves. If anyone here would like to join in on the tour you are more than welcome to do so, our next stop will be in Maine (FiME).

Until next time

Just (is my face red) Jess
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Welcome Jess and all you other Fools to the Bayou State! Sorry I did not greet you earlier but I have been out of town for the last couple of days and I just got home this evening.

Louisiana is really two or three states in one. You have New Orleans, a great American city with a culture all it's own, even different from the rest of South Louisiana. About a third of our entire population resides there. You then have Cajun Country, which includes New Orleans, and comprises the lower one-half to one-third of the state depending on who draws the line.

The northern portion of the state is made up of Piney Hills (that's where I live), rolling plains and flat Delta land. Though attitudes and accents are different, we all love spicy-hot food, cold drinks, good music and most tend to have a soft spot in their heart {or perhaps their head:)} for our hapless Saints.

In Louisiana we don't have counties; we have parishes. We prefer beignets over donuts and crawfish over shrimp. We can play three part harmonies with little more than a washboard and an empty bottle, and for many, "Laissez bon temps roullette" (Let the good times roll) sums up their philosophy of life.

I live in a town called Ruston that is in the very East-West center of the State on Interstate 20 and only about 30 miles from Arkansas. Ruston has a Mayberryesque aroma with a college-town flavor, only 20,000 people in town and 40,000 for the entire parish, where everybody knows everyone's name. Ruston is home to Louisiana Tech University. LTU is a selective admissions school known primarily for outstanding engineering programs such as the Biomedical Research Institute and the Institute for Micromanufacturing. We hope to someday leverage this braintrust into a high quality R&D Center, something along the lines of a scaled down (or who knows, maybe scaled-up) version of Research Triangle Park, NC.

We are sports Fanatics. Some of our more famous alums are Terry Bradshaw and Karl Malone. Our Lady Techsters Basketball program is a perennial feature of the NCAA Final Four and no less than five former Techsters are now WNBA standouts. We have a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate this year in quarterback Tim Rattay. Last year's Bilitnekoff Award winner, "Sir" Troy Edwards, set a single game NCAA receiving record in 1998 with 405 yards against Nebraska, no less, and went 13th overall in the NFL draft to Pittsburgh; keep your eye on him. BTW, Hunzi, I made the trip to Lincoln. It's beautiful up there.

Four miles down the road from Ruston is Grambling, LA, home of Grambling State University. College football's most winningnest coach, Eddie Robinson, calls Grambling home. In fact, I happened to run into both "Coach Rob" and Tim Rattay earlier this week as I was making the rounds between meetings and appointments. (It's a small town, remember.) Coach Rob's successsor is Super Bowl MVP and GSU alum Doug Williams. You can catch him every now and then having breakfast or lunch at the Holiday Inn. Grambling has been struggling as an institution the last few years but now seems to be on the way back up under the leadership of a new President, Dr. Steve Favors. In addition to Coach Rob, they are best known for their school of Mass Communications and School of Nursing, and of course, the inimitable GSU Marching Band. They also have a faculty Jazz Ensemble that really cooks; I hire them on occasion when having a soiree.

I'm a brand new fool and I am just getting started myself with the Foolish Four so I haven't had time to research LA companies, but I can tell you about some that are nearby or of which I have some knowledge, though be it limited. I am ignorant, I am ashamed to say, in reference to their financial statements, but heck, I'm still trying to figure out who's who; who's what comes next. By the way Jess, you said you almost went to work for PHEL; do you fly slingwings?

I would love to see the list you referenced on MSN Investor, especially if it describes what each company does. Post 37 on this board by Shoffpau gives a names only list of LA companies. One company that is not on the list, because their national headquarters is in Oregon, is Willamette Industries (paper and forest products). However, a good portion of their company is right here in Ruston at their Southern Regional HQ (about four blocks from my house). Down the road about thirty miles in Monroe is CenturyTel, a wireless communications company. CLECO and Entergy are both public utilities in the electricity business. Avondale is a major shipbuilder in New Orleans. Hibernia is a statewide (now growing regionally out of state) bank. Piccadilly is in the cafeteria business and does a pretty good job feeding folks. Lamar Advertising is outdoor advertising and they are owned by Kevin Reilly, our state Secretary of Economic Development.

Well, I really must go now; gotta hug the wife and kids you know and all that good stuff. Hope this has given you a little insight into Louisiana. Glad to have y'all here and look forward to Foolin' around in the future.

Fool Speed Ahead

Halbrook
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Hope this has given you a little insight into Louisiana.

All I got to say to all of that is "Oh yeah" : )

By the way Jess, you said you almost went to work for PHEL; do you fly slingwings?

You talkin' Eggbeaters O' Doom? No, I have had training as an aircraft mechanic and was hoping to get in as a mechanic. Complications arose concerning licensing, at the time I couldn't afford to take the testing and now it is too late to take the testing now that I can afford it (there was, of course, a lot more involved, but basically I just fumbled the ball). Thinking back, I would have been better off if I had just taken out a loan to take the testing. Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20.

I would love to see the list you referenced on MSN Investor, especially if it describes what each company does.

It might take a bit, but for you I'll see what I can do ; )

..."Laissez bon temps roullette"...

I know another version of that: Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez

Either way I do agree with the meaning, Let the Good Times Roll!


Just (I'm rollin', I'm rollin') Jess
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Actually, um, your version is correct:

"Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

The mistakes we transplants make late at night after a road trip.

Fool Speed Ahead

Halbrook
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Aloha, Halbrook

You gave an excellent narrative on your state. I am the one collecteing suggestions from every state for out Traveling Fools Stock Trek Portfolio. (See earlier message for list so far) Care to give us one or two promising stocks from Louisiana?

Mahalo

hoomoekala
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Hello Louisiana...

and a big Hi to Halbrook.
I'm LurkerMom from Wisconsin and am traveling along with the tour thru the 50 states. I'm arriving a little behind the rest, but better late than never.

Thank you Halbrook for you warm welcome and your wonderful description of the State of Louisiana. I made
a copy of it so I could read it again over my morning coffee, I enjoyed it so.

A few weeks ago I had family visiting from Norway. On one of the evenings we were doing the town, I made reservations at one of our local restaurants.
Now we have German, Italian, and many other types of nice restaurants in town, but I was looking for something different, something they wouldn't see back home, and unique to America.
I choosed a restaurant which specialized in Louisiana cajun food.
I had jambalaya...heard about this dish for years,and songs have been written about it, so just had to try it. Oh! was it good! Everyone enjoyed their meals and we had the most wonderful time at the restaurant.
I have yet to visit Louisiana, but I know the first meal I have when I do it will be jambalaya. If it was that good in Milwaukee, I can imagine what it will be like eating the real thing in Louisiana.

Well, I guess I have rambled enough, got to catch up with Jess, I've been lagging behind.

Hope you folks here come and visit us on the Wisconsin Board, it would be nice to see you there.

'Mom
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Dear Mom and hoomoekala:

Thanks for stopping by FiLA.

Jambalaya is also one of my favorites, but some of the best south you will ever put in your mouth is ettouffee (that's eh-too-fay). It comes in two basic varieties, crawfish or shrimp; my other mom, she lives next door in Mississippi, makes a mean catfish version. If you ever get the chance, try the crawfish variety. It's even better'n peas and cornbread, knowhutimean?

As far as stock picks go, I am a newbie to both this investing gig and the online thang. I haven't had time to research any local companies, so, after reading the Gardner's three tomes I went pretty much mechanical with an F4 port plus Microsoft. Therefore I will unfoolishly offer (due to a dearth of research on my part - caveat emptor) CenturyTel (CTL) for the Stock Trek portfolio. They are a local wireless communications company. I know their people, their service and their promotions. All are good. I don't know diddly about their financials because I haven't had time to really dig into them.

BTW, I meant to tell Hunzi in my earlier post that we have some of her home folks here. ConAgra out of Omaha has a plant with almost 2,000 employees down the road a piece from where I hang my hat. They are goin' and blowin' processing several hundred chickens per minute, 24/7. On another trivial note, Delta Airlines was founded in nearby Monroe, and they still conduct an annual board meeting and shareholders meeting there. We have two local patriarchs, the centimillionaires next door so to speak, that amassed enough wealth with LTBH on just those two stocks (each owning only one, not both), to buy several islands in the Caribbean.

I will get up to Wisconsin both on the board and in person (I kinda like that Michael Feldman dude and I aim to see his show in person one day). Until then....

Fool Speed Ahead

Halbrook
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Um, MMmm. Crawdaddy's (that's the restaurant 'Mom went to, I think it's the only one in the area) has shrimp ettouffee. I'll have to try that next time I'm there.

I've also enjoyed some of their 'gator dishes. Sometimes it seems like it's smoked, sometimes it's fresh. Either way it's good.

I'm also tagging along behind the Tour. I started out in Wisconsin with the rest, but I seem to be getting behind. <sigh> I guess I just like to sight see too much. :)

I've always wanted to visit New Orleans, but NOT during Mardi Gras. It seems like it would be different enough from Wisconsin to almost be another country. :D

Wait for me!

AstridS
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Halbrook,

BTW, I meant to tell Hunzi in my earlier post that we have some of her home folks here. ConAgra out of Omaha has a plant with almost 2,000 employees down the road a piece from where I hang my hat.

Cool! I was just over near their headquarters the other day doing some sightseeing after the first FiNE dinner get-together.

Always ;-)
Hunzi
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